While Jen Lilley’s journey to motherhood wasn’t nearly as outrageous as that of DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Theresa, it was every bit as interesting! She and husband Jason Wayne had become foster parents to two baby boys (who happened to be brothers), the older of which, Kayden (now 3), they adopted last June. However, Lilley shared, they also “wanted to have one biological kid, just so I could experience pregnancy, breastfeeding, all of it.” After suffering two miscarriages, she learned 10 weeks into her subsequent pregnancy that she and her better half could start decorating the nursery pink. “I ran into our room and was like, ‘Jason!’” she laughed. “He woke up thinking the house was on fire, but I said, ‘We’re having a girl!’”
The pregnancy had been fairly easy, with Lilley even shooting Hallmark movies through the sixth month. However, the delivery was anything but simple. Not only did the star endure 22 hours of labor, but she also went through transition twice! At one point, “they realized the baby’s heart had stopped, and the team ran in saying, ‘We have to give you Albuterol, an asthma medication, to stop your contractions.’ They were so intense that they were squeezing her to death,” Lilley revealed. “Jason and my best friend were praying over me with each one.”
Many tears and an ineffective epidural later, Lilley says she finally gave birth to their daughter, Julie Evangeline Wayne, on July 30. Of her resolve to endure the process, she confided, “I had a lot of peace about it, but at the same time, all I could think was, ‘The baby’s been in distress pretty much from the getgo, and now she has no air.’”
The Waynes had been prepared to expand their family — they’d even bought a bigger SUV — but hadn’t anticipated the warm welcome the boys gave their new sister. “The 17-month-old calls her ‘my baby,’ and Kayden can’t say his Ls, so he calls her Juie,” Lilley offered. “He kisses her constantly!”
Lilley has since been nursing her healthy baby and, amazingly, getting some rest. “I’ve now got two kids that sleep through the night,” she said proudly, “and I’ve trained Julie to sleep for four-to five-hour stretches.” That was a huge relief, given that the actress soon needed to fly to Vancouver with the newborn to film Hallmark’s Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday (airing Sunday, December 15). Might she also be up for bringing DAYS’ Tate for a visit to Salem? Daunted by the prospect of the soap’s rigorous production schedule, Lilley muses, “I think you’re going to have to wait for Theresa.”
For more from your favorite DAYS stars, keep reading Soaps in Depth magazine.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine